5
Jun

Teething Tablets Recalled

teethingTeething Tablets Not Recommended

On April 20, 2017, the FDA recalled Hyland's homeopathic teething tablets.

For many years now, many parents have asked me if I recommend teething tablets and if they even work.

I always told them that didn't recommend them because the ingredient concentrations are not known or clear.  Hyland's website (http://www.hylands.com/products/hyland%E2%80%99s-baby-nighttime-teething-tablets) lists the ingredients and their benefits as follows:

"Calcarea Phosphorica 6X HPUS
Chamomilla 6X HPUS
Coffea Cruda 6X HPUS
Belladonna 12X HPUS (0.0000000000003% Alkaloids)

HPUS indicates the active ingredients are in the official Homeopathic Pharmacopia of the United States."

Belladonna is listed as 12X HPUS.  How much is this?  Is it really safe for our babies?  In addition, in 2010, the FDA has also advised against these tablets due to inconsistent dosing of Belladonna alkaloids from bottle to bottle (http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/health/hylands-teething-tablets-discontinued-fda-warning/).  If I didn't know what I was really giving to my baby, I wouldn't give it to my baby.  Therefore, if I couldn't give it to my baby, I couldn't recommend it as a pediatrician.

In addition, I used to tell parents that based on parents' feedback, it seemed that these tablets worked about 50% of the time. Given that it wasn't consistently helpful, I didn't recommend them.

Hyland's Teething Tablets Recalled

Now, I say even more. I say absolutely not. There have been ten (10) deaths linked to Hyland's teething tablets.  "The FDA concluded that the products have mislabeled the amounts of belladonna alkaloids they contain."   (http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/14/health/hylands-teething-tablet-fda-recall-bn/)  There have also been seizures linked to them as well. There are of course other homeopathic teething tablets. However, the same problem exists. How much of each ingredient is in each tablet? Unknown.  So, the bottom line is, I don't recommend teething tablets.

What To Do For Teething Pain Relief

So the question remains, what to do to help relieve the pain?  There are several recommendations:

(1) Use a cold wet wash cloth (kept in the fridge) that your baby can chew on.

(2) Have your child chew on a frozen bagel.

(3) Have your child chew on a frozen banana.

(4) Have your child chew on an ice cube.

Be careful with any of these items that your child can chew on.  Always supervise your baby in order to prevent your child choking.  In addition, chewing on a frozen item needs to be for a limited time to prevent physical injury due to prolonged cold.  I recommend using a fresh food feeder.  This is essentially a small mesh bag that your infant can chew on without choking.  As always supervise that as well.  

Teething is a painful time in infants' lives.  However, teething tablets or bells that contain belladonna and/or benzocaine are not recommended.

 

1
Jun
4
Nov

Youth Suicide with ADD, ADHD & Depression

suicide-2016-1104A recent study in Pediatrics (bit.ly/2fncnCe) revealed that young children (5 – 11 years old) who committed suicide were more likely to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Teenagers (12 – 14 years old) who committed suicide were more likely to suffer from depression or dysthymia.   One third (1/3) of children who committed suicide had a mental illness.  In order to determine the cause of suicide of children 5 to 14 years old, the study reviewed data from the National Violent Death Reporting System from 2003 to 2012.
 
Young school aged children who committed suicide were more likely to have family or friend relationship problems.  In contrast, teenagers who committed suicide were more likely to have boyfriends or girlfriend relationship problems.  The study also revealed that there was a higher rate of suicides among black youth than young of other races.  In addition, 29% of young children and teenagers told someone about their intention to commit suicide before they attempted to do so. 
 
If you’re concerned about your child or the child of someone you know committing suicide, you should know the suicide warning signs.  Suicide warning signs include, but are not limited to increased seclusion and alone time, increased time spent in their room alone, decreased time spent with friends, decreased time spent in school activities, poor grades or a drop in grades, poor communication, discussion of a desire to commit suicide, increased temper, increased frustration.
 
An excellent resource is The National Suicide Prevention Line.  There are many tools available on their website, suicidepreventionlifeline.org.  In addition, their Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Online Chat is also available.  If Chat is unavailable, then please call the Lifeline, as help is available 24/7.  It is anonymous and confidential.  They even have a Safe Space with a set of three (3) You Tube videos to help with relaxation (suicidepreventionlifeline.org/safe-space).
 
It is important to (1) know the warning signs for suicide among young children and teens, (2) be aware that ADD, ADHD and depression place these children at a higher suicide risk, and (3) know where to call for help.

 

3
Nov

Electronics Before Bed | Sleep Problems in Children

electronics-before-bed-sleep-problems-in-childrenChildren develop sleep problems when they use portable media devices, such as tablets or smartphones, before bed.  They have more difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, are more sleepy during the daytime, and are twice more likely to sleep less than children without access to their devices before bedtime.  A JAMA Pediatrics review (reut.rs/2fkjL1j) of 20 studies that involved children using these portable media devices. The review excluded their use of PCs and TVs before bed.  It included over 125,000 children between the ages of 6 and 19 years old.
 
 Even more interesting, is the fact that sleep problems are also more likely in children who had their portable media device near them at bedtime, even if they didn’t use it before bedtime.  If they receive texts or use social media, then they are more likely to check their devices throughout the night.  Before you know it, after checking the texts, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat & other social media, several hours of precious  sleep may have been lost.
 
So many of us are guilty of using out smartphones in the middle of the night.  We’ve commonly woken up, after a deep sleep REM cycle, checked our smartphone, and interrupted our sleep.  A good amount of sleep for most children is 10 hours per night, for teens it lowers to 9 hours per night.  For a child, this has a huge impact on their education the next day as well.  If sleep problems exist, learning difficulties are more likely to occur when they are sleepy during the daytime. 
 
Next time you use your smartphone before bed, think about how it could negatively impact your own sleep.  Poor sleep is linked to many potential negative health consequences, including dementia.
 
Please consider protecting your child’s sleep by making sure they don’t use their smartphones or tablets before bedtime, turn them off or remove them from their bedroom at night.
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